Vulkanland Steiermark DAC

It is the pockets of vineyards planted on the rich and fertile slopes, characterised by remarkable deposits from long-extinct volcanoes, which give the vinous landscape of the Vulkanland Steiermark its magical touch. Its 1,524 hectares of vines are cultivated in a concentrated fashion around the winegrowing towns of Klöch, St. Anna am Aigen and Straden. The Traminer, with its enticing, highly aromatic bouquet is a regional speciality, and the majority of the wines are sold in the wine taverns (Buschenschank) or the estates’ cellar doors.

Map of Vulkanland Steiermark DAC
© ÖWM

The Wine

The remnants of extinct volcanoes not only shape the landscape here, but also make their mark on the wines. A fine element of mineral spice manifests itself as a common denominator among the grape varieties cultivated for Vulkanland Steiermark DAC, including Welschriesling, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, Sauvignon Blanc and Traminer. Climatic tendrils projected by the Pannonian weather systems that prevail to the east give the wines a subtle, regionally typical weight and substance. Sauvignon Blanc is the most important focus variety for all Vulkanland Steiermark DAC Ortswein, but Weissburgunder & Grauburgunder also play an essential role on this villages wine level. Both of these vines enjoy excellent conditions in Vulkanland, as they prefer more temperate environments. One particular specialty of Vulkanland is the Traminer, which as an Ortswein from Klöch can also be vinified halbtrocken. Its signature aroma of roses is supported on the palate by delicate acidity. 

The Region

Viticulture in Vulkanland Steiermark focuses on many small ‘islands’ of winegrowing, with unique vineyards situated on the slopes of extinct volcanoes. 1,524 hectares of vines are cultivated in this distinctive landscape, and some sites are very high in elevation; vineyards on the Ringkogel near Hartberg reach a level of 600 metres. The warm soils in which the vineyards are planted exhibit a dramatic change-off between limestone-rich and limestone-free subsoils, sandy and argillaceous base materials or gravelly and volcanic deposits. Most often, sandy and argillaceous, mostly limestone-free soils are found on the upper slopes outside Klöch. In the area of ​​Klöch one finds almost completely limestone-free red and brown loams, formed out of basalt and tuff. In terms of climate, Vulkanland Steiermark lies in a transitional zone between the hot, dry Pannonian climate and the warm, humid Illyrian climate. In combination with the topography, this results in extreme temperature swings between day and night, which contribute to development of aromaticity and the harmonious ripening of the grapes.

Forellen auf Teller und mit Gläsern voll Weißwein.
© ÖWM/Blickwerk Fotografie

Culinary Tip

The Vulkanland has established itself as a region with outstanding culinary possibilities, which offer not only wine but also a variety of local specialties, including but not limited to various hams. But Vulkanland DAC wines do not only cut a fine figure when poured alongside the local delicacies – these Sauvignon Blancs are excellent companions for lighter to medium-weight fish, vegetables, asparagus and pasta dishes. The regionally typical Grauburgunder harmonises very well with robust fish preparations or seafood; in the fuller-bodied versions it also pairs wonderfully with red-cultured soft cheeses. Even the generous fruit of Traminer shines in combination with these cheeses. If you want to delve further into the culinary world, you will find an excellent companion in the Traminer: its residual sweetness and mouthfeel buffer the characteristic fiery spice of many Asian dishes and provide very special moments of enjoyment.

A picture shows the system of origins in the Steiermark, depicted as a pyramid, © AWMB.
© AWMB

Vulkanland Steiermark DAC
as of vintage 2018

Grape varieties: Welschriesling, Weissburgunder, Morillon (Chardonnay), Grauburgunder, Riesling, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer as well as cuvées made from them.

Levels:

  • Vulkanland Steiermark DAC: submission for control number from 15 January of the year following the harvest; for Welschriesling from 1 December of the harvest year
  • Vulkanland Steiermark DAC with indication of municipality: submission for control number from 1 April of the year following the harvest, for Klöcher Traminer in the first three years from        1 March of the year following the harvest
  • Vulkanland Steiermark DAC with indication of vineyard (Ried): submission for control number from 1 April of the year following the harvest

Alcohol:

  • Not specified

Residual sugar:

  • Vulkanland Steiermark DAC: max. 4.0 g/l; Riesling and Traminer must correspond to the designation ‘trocken’
  • Vulkanland Steiermark DAC with designation of municipality: max. 4.0 g/l; Riesling and Traminer must correspond to the designation ‘trocken’ ; Klöcher Traminer also ‘halbtrocken’ or at Prädikatswein level without any limit on residual sugar content
  • Vulkanland Steiermark DAC with vineyard designation: max. 4.0 g/l; Riesling, Gelber Muskateller and Traminer must correspond to the designation ‘trocken’

Flavour profile:

  • Not specified

Labelling:

  • Vulkanland Steiermark DAC: indication of origin (including ‘DAC’) must appear on the primary label (the label showing all obligatory information) and the front label. Indication of the harvest year is obligatory.
  • Vulkanland Steiermark DAC with indication of municipality: indication of origin (including ‘DAC’) und indication of municipality must appear on the primary label (the label showing all obligatory information) and the front label.
  • Vulkanland Steiermark DAC with indication of vineyard: indication of origin (including ‘DAC’) and the name of the vineyard (Ried) must appear on the primary label (the label showing all obligatory information).
  • Qualitätswein with regional indication of origin ‘Steiermark’ may show no more specific geographic attribution than ‘Steiermark’.

Focus varieties for Ortswein:

  • Oststeiermark: Sauvignon Blanc, Weissburgunder
  • Riegersburg: Sauvignon Blanc, Weissburgunder
  • Kapfenstein: Sauvignon Blanc, Weissburgunder
  • St. Anna: Sauvignon Blanc, Weissburgunder
  • Tieschen: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot-family cuvées
  • Klöch: Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer
  • Straden: Sauvignon Blanc, Grauburgunder
  • St. Peter: Sauvignon Blanc, Weissburgunder